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Utah Gov Signs Bills Expanding Access and Legal Protection for Medical Marijuana Patients

The governor of Utah signed two pieces of legislation into law that will expand legal protection and access to medical cannabis products for the state’s registered medical marijuana patients.

The first bill – SB 46 – limits the sanctions employers are permitted to take against employees on the basis of out-of-work medical cannabis use in compliance with Utah’s marijuana laws. However, these protections do not extend to private employers, nor for employees who turn up to work under the influence of cannabis.

The bill further prohibits judges and juries from discriminating against medical marijuana patients during a judicial proceeding on the basis of cannabis use.

The legislation’s primary sponsor said the purpose of the bill is to ensure that the medicinal use of marijuana is treated in the same way as other authorized treatments.

Governor Spencer Cox also signed another medical cannabis bill into law. The measure – SB 195 – makes it easier for physicians to recommend medical marijuana products to patients on the basis of chronic pain, especially if the only alternative treatment is prescription opioids.

Chronic pain is the most common reason why patients use medical cannabis, and there have been dozens of studies attesting to the treatment’s effectiveness at managing pain while reducing or even eliminating the need for opioids, which are highly addictive and can be fatal if too many are consumed.

The bill also contains provisions that put limitations on how retailers are allowed to market and advertise medical marijuana products.

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